Smoke management and the IBC

When a fire occurs in a building, controlling smoke can mean the difference between life and death. A newly revised reference book addresses smoke management in the 2006 International Building Code (IBC).


When a fire occurs in a building, controlling smoke can mean the difference between life and death. A newly revised reference book addresses smoke management in the 2006 International Building Code (IBC). This book creates a bridge between the complex subject of smoke management and the code requirements of the IBC. Developed jointly by the International Code Council and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), “ A Guide to Smoke Control in the 2006 IBC ” will help experienced and new practitioners.

“This guide will help code officials, engineers, and designers understand smoke control requirements that will save lives and protect property,” said International Code Council CEO Rick Weiland.

The 2006 IBC smoke control requirements are more performance-based than previous editions and allow engineers the flexibility to address particular fire hazards in building design. The 2006 edition also includes a new reference for exhaust method design and facilitates the use of different types of models, such as network, zone and computational fluid dynamics models. The guide explains these and other new requirements and provides engineers, designers, and code officials with practical examples. Of particular interest in the guide is the section detailing commissioning and testing of smoke control systems. As an added tool, the appendix includes a plan review checklist.

“This guide shows how the results of fire science can be applied to building safety,” said David Evans, SFPE executive director. “The information in this joint Code Council-SFPE publication is needed by both engineers and code officials in applying the 2006 IBC smoke control provisions.”

The authors, Dr. John H. Klote, PE, and Douglas H. Evans, PE, are both experts in the field of fire protection engineering. Klote, an internationally recognized authority on smoke management, authored three previous books and more than 80 papers and articles on smoke control and other aspects of fire protection engineering. Evans, also a published author, is the fire protection engineer for the Clark County (Nev.) Building Division, which has jurisdiction over the unincorporated areas of southern Nevada, including the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.

“A Guide to Smoke Control in the 2006 IBC” is available at , or from SFPE at .

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